Kansas State scored 21 points off 26 James Madison turnovers and connected on 10 three-pointers en route to a 75-61 season-opening victory in the opening round of the O’Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic on Friday night at sold-out Bramlage Coliseum.
KSU, ranked third nationally in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USAToday Coaches Polls, improved to 1-0. JMU opened its third straight season with a loss to a top-25 opponent.
Senior guard Jacob Pullen, a First Team A.P. Preseason All-American, led all players with 20 points in the win for the Wildcats. He added five assists and three steals. Sophomore guard Nick Russell added 19 points and four assists.
Junior forward Rayshawn Goins (Cleveland, Ohio/Glenville) posted a double-double in his JMU debut after transferring from Cincinnati State. He led the Dukes with 17 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
Goins was one of four Dukes in double figures. Junior guard Julius Wells (Toledo, Ohio/Libbey) poured in 13 points with three beyond the arc. Sophomore guard Devon Moore (Columbus, Ohio/Northland) also had 13 points while Preseason All-CAA senior forward Denzel Bowles (Virginia Beach, Va./Kempsville) had 11.
JMU was done in by 26 turnovers with K-State taking advantage with a 21-9 edge in points off turnovers. The Wildcats also hit 10-of-19 three-point attempts in the game. Their first five field goals were all threes with the first two-point bucket coming 13 minutes into the contest.
The Dukes and Wildcats were tied 19-19 over halfway through the first period when a Will Spradling three ignited a 19-9 run to provide separation for the host. A Moore runner at the buzzer cut the halftime margin to eight at 38-30.
K-State kept up the pressure early in the second half, using a 17-5 run out of the break to push the margin to 20 at 55-35. JMU pulled as close as 13 points on a three by Wells to make it 65-52 with 3:35 to go but could get no closer as the Wildcats clinched the 14-point victory.
JMU will play again Nov. 20 with a 7 p.m. game at The Citadel. The Dukes then continue action in the CBE Classic when they host the Harrisonburg Subregional Nov. 22-24 at the Convocation Center. JMU will play games against Princeton, Presbyterian and Bucknell.
VMI gets win in opener
Rodney Glasgow had 17 points and eight assists in his collegiate debut, Stan Okoye equaled his career-high with 26 points and behind a 67-point second half, the VMI Keydets defeated the Randolph College WildCats 106-65 in VMI’s basketball season opener, played Friday night at Cameron Hall in Lexington, Va.
The 41-point win was the Keydets’ largest margin of victory since a 61-point triumph on Nov. 20, 2008, when VMI beat Stevenson 133-72. In addition to Glasgow and Okoye, Stephen Sargent filled up the stat sheet with a career-high 15 points and nine rebounds, while Keith Gabriel had 17 points and Nick Gore chipped in 16.
VMI placed five in double figures in claiming its third-straight season-opening win, the first time the Keydets had accomplished that since winning four straight from 1991-92 through 1994-95. It was also the Keydets’ first time to win back-to-back home openers since the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons, when VMI defeated Mary Washington and Liberty, respectively.
The game got off to a very slow start, with neither team making a field goal for the opening 1:55. Glasgow got the Keydets on the board, scoring the first two points of his career at 18:05, and VMI took the 2-1 lead.
Despite shooting just 2 for its first 11, VMI stretched that lead slowly, thanks in large part to center Sargent. Sargent and Glasgow combined for VMI’s first 11 points, and the Keydets took a nine point lead at the 12:03 mark, thanks to a Glasgow trey. Three additional points, these from Michael Sparks, capped the game-opening 14-2 run as Randolph missed its first 11 shots from the field.
The WildCats finally got on the board at the 10:49 mark, as Mike Ehilegbu hit a three-pointer to cut the margin to nine and score Randolph’s first field goal. The visitors had missed their first 12 shots, but one possession later, Pete Hamilton hit a trey of his own to make the score VMI 14, Randolph 8. From there, the teams battled back-and-forth for the next several minutes, with Randolph able to pull slightly closer. Another trey from Ehilegbu pulled the visitors within four at 6:12, but the Keydets pushed the margin back out to 12 at the intermission, thanks to eight Okoye points over the final 4:47.
All told, the first half saw a stunning 25 personal fouls called, while VMI shot just 3 of 20 from three-point range. Randolph was not much better, hitting just 21% of their tries from the floor. Sargent had 10 first-half points, just two short of his career-high, while Sparks had a career-high seven rebounds in the opening 20 minutes.
The Keydets came out of the locker room with a vengeance, putting a 10-0 run on the board to open the period and take a 22-point lead, 49-27. Gabriel hit a three-pointer to cap the run at 18:24, and after a Randolph three-pointer, Okoye converted an old-fashioned three-point play to put the lead back to 22. The WildCats never got closer than 19 the rest of the way.
Gore opened yet another VMI run with 16:49 to play, converting two free throws and starting an 8-0 run that gave the Keydets a 28-point cushion, 60-32.
Randolph clawed back to within 19 with 9:53 left, but the Keydets went on a 19-5 run in which five different players scored to quell any hopes of a rally. The push gave VMI its first 30-point lead of the night, and VMI would finish the game strong, taking a 41-point advantage in the final minute and scoring 21 of the final 31 points to claim the win.
The Keydets outscored Randolph 67-38 in the second half, thanks to shooting 56.5% from the field in the final 20 minutes. VMI also outrebounded the visitors 52-37, after only accomplishing that feat three times last season. Although the home team shot just 11 of 41 from three-point range, the Keydets shot an impressive 31 of 45 from two-point range.
For the visiting WildCats, Hamilton had 12 points and three assists. Randolph, however, was outdone by 27 turnovers and a 21% shooting percentage from the floor in the first half.
VMI basketball will return to action Sunday, traveling to Baltimore, Md. to take on the UMBC Retrievers. Game time is set for 3 p.m.